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Improving surgical practices in hospitals

Arkansas patients who are planning on undergoing surgery may be interested in an Oxford University research study that has unified competing theories about best practices in patient care. Previous efforts to increase patient safety have involved either teamwork and communication improvements or industrial techniques to modify high-risk aspects of care. A division of the National Institute for Health Research funded the program over four years in the Department of Surgical Sciences at Oxford.

This study may be the largest direct observational one concerning performance by surgical teams. Five studies evaluated the culture approach, two studies evaluated the systems approach and two studies evaluated the combined culture/system approaches. The studies found that system/culture approaches resulted in clearly superior results than either single approach. One researcher explained that fixing the existing system is only party of the equation to improve patient safety. Hospitals must also train the team for optimal results.

It was found that clinical team members who received training had greater motivation and were more knowledgeable about the safety risks of surgery than their counterparts. Combined intervention recipients developed projects with higher goals and asked for more assistance from experts. One researcher suggested that frontline staff require more support to address patient safety issues as they do not possess the time or ability to handle these issues alone.

Patient safety issues that lead to illness or injury may result in a hospital negligence lawsuit. A successful action can help injured victims recover the damages caused by a negligent physician or facility that failed to exhibit the requisite standard of care. A lawyer who has experience with these matters can be of assistance in compiling the evidence that would demonstrate negligence.

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